Mining companies are having a hard time keeping aerial drones in the air they use to survey the terrain on account of pesky eagles that view the drones as prey.
The effective take-down of drones by raptors is not unheard of. As we reported earlier this year, the Dutch police have trained birds of prey to render drones inoperative without harming themselves.
These talents come in handy when you don’t want those annoying eyes in the skies, but not when the drones cost $10,000 each plus another $10,000 for the camera. In Western Australia it’s cost a mining company $100,000. And in South Africa, wedge-tailed eagles have taken out 9 out of 10 unmanned aerial drones, Rick Stevens told a group of mining industry representatives in Australia recently.
Those cameras were able to get some pretty cool shots of the birds right before they destroyed the thing though. Some of the shots were even taken when one eagle was aiming the drone at another when it was snatched in its talons.
“People couldn’t believe I was able to get such a good photo of an eagle airborne, but I didn’t … another eagle took that photo,” Stevens said, according to ABC News in Australia.
To combat the threat, Steven has engineered aerial drone camouflage that makes the flying objects look like a raptor, a raptor that can’t fight back, that is.
Apparently wedge-tailed eagles are known for being curious characters as an ultralight pilot found out in the video below.
Photo credit: Wikimedia